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Fun blasting action
Unrelated to either the movie or the classic vertically scrolling arcade shooter of the same name, this is actually a fairly crazy little platformer/scrolling shooter that features a whole heap of blasting action and makes for an entertaining diversion. Produced by the same developers as the equally enjoyable A Game with a Kitty and Reactor09, this is well worth digging out. The plot is a familiar one and involves terrorists hijacking a truck transporting nuclear weapons through Texas and which must now be returned. This requires players to jump into the shoes of the titular commando and do what is usually done in this kind of situation: blast those terrorists to hell. This translates into a side scrolling shooter, in the vein of Contra, The Untouchables, or Ghosts & Goblins, only with more jumping to add to the variety. As you would hope, there is a nice range of weapons to use, including grenades and the game takes you through a good variety of environments. Commando is certainly simple enough, but no less enjoyable for that fact. The platform shooting requires swift responses and a fast trigger finger, and the game provides a fair level of challenge even to retro veterans. The graphics, while similarly simple, are decent enough, with a good use of colour in the environmental design and with that cool, old-school look for its chunky sprites and which give the game a good sense of personality. The soundtrack is worthy of mention too, with a great theme and plenty of meaty effects to add to the atmosphere. Overall, this is a bit of an unexpected treat for platform fans and is thoroughly deserving of investigation.
A conversion of a classic arcade top down shooter
While preparing to review this game I had a flashback of me standing in this arcade/bar with a few pinball machines, with Pac Man, with, maybe, Space Invaders or some other similar game and with another classic, Moon Patrol (or was that in this other arcade in my town, I can't say for sure!) Anyway, what this game reminded me of was the actual original, which was ad hoc looked at as the big boy arcade machine, as it was quite hard! What I mostly remember was the intense yellow tinge of the sand onto which the soldier moved, but I remember being quite scared of the game so I can't remember more of it. At any rate, this DOS version does away with that color scheme to push the magenta (oh, the magenta!) of the really limited EGA graphic style. But, it seems to me, if you can look past it, the game recreates that experience of shooting while cautiously scrolling the screen forward, hoping no stray bullet flies from nowhere towards you. Unfortunately, that is not the case here, as the game is much less speedy, and also it seems to be much sparse in the way it arranges the enemies. So yeah, it's a bit on the easy side and on the unimpressive side. But well, it was released in 87 and as far as I'm concerned, if I had access to it back then I wouldn't have been displeased. Maybe scared, but not displeased!